South-View Cemetery, one of the oldest African-American cemeteries

11Alive salutes the historic South-View Cemetery, one of the nation's oldest African-American Cemeteries.

11Alive salutes the historic South-View Cemetery, one of the nation’s oldest African-American Cemeteries. Founded in 1886 by former slaves, South-View is the resting place for many who have made history in Atlanta and the nation. With a charter from the state of Georgia in 1886, South-View’s founders gave African-Americans, who could not be buried in white burial grounds, a cemetery of their own.

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South-View Cemetery is the nation’s oldest African American non-eleemosynary corporation still in operation. It was organized in 1886 as a place where African Americans could be buried with dignity. Unable to be buried in white cemeteries, Jacob McKinley, George W. Graham, Robert Grant, Charles H. Morgan, John Render and Albert Watts petitioned for a charter in Georgia in February 1866. The charter was secured on April 21, 1886.

In the 1950’s and 1960’s, the cemetery was one of the most modern and best burial grounds in the nation, without color distinction. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Dr. Benjamin Mays were both laid to rest at South-View Cemetery before being moved to their final resting places at the Martin Luther King Center and Morehouse College.